Maurice Sills, one of Norwich City’s oldest supporters, has died just weeks before his 102nd birthday
One of Norwich City’s oldest fans has died just weeks before his 102nd birthday.
Maurice Sills, who was a Canaries supporter for more than 40 years, passed away at his north London care home on Sunday.
And tributes have today poured in from those who knew the 101-year-old, who only gave up his season ticket two years ago.
He began following the club in 1975 when he and his wife Ellen bought a holiday home near Fakenham after retiring as teachers.
In recognition to his dedication to the club, he was last year was invited to the directors’ box at Carrow Road as Norwich beat Barnet 5-0 in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Speaking in 2016, Mr Sills said he had always shunned the term supporter, instead describing himself as a “follower” of Norwich City.
“When people ask why, I say it’s because if you are a supporter you have to hate Ipswich. But I don’t hate anybody – so I’m a follower,” he said.
Andi Ansell, secretary of the London-based supporters’ group Capital Canaries, of which Mr Sills was a member, said: “Maurice travelled regularly to home and away games on the Capital Canaries trips, and he would always be wearing his Norwich scarf.
“He was an absolute gentleman, and he would talk to everyone. I always remember him on the way back to London from home matches galloping to get to the front of the train so he could get off quickly to get home.”
Despite his dedication to the club, it was perhaps Mr Sills’ long-standing work at St Paul’s Cathedral which garnered him the most attention.
He had been a volunteer there since the 1970s, and spent most of his time at the cathedral school, where he would read to pupils.
The Very Reverend David Ison, Dean of St Paul’s said: “We talk of well-known people sometimes as national treasures; but to all who knew him, Maurice was a humble, loving and much-loved treasure himself, who gave himself to others and whom it has been a joy to know.”
The oldest of six boys, Mr Sills was born in 1915 and grew up in South London.
In the Second World War he joined the Royal Navy, serving as a petty officer in the North Atlantic and off Africa.
Mr Sills, who would have turned 102 in July, was also said to be a passionate cricket fan.